Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4:43 p.m.
The Sustainability Action Subcommittee (SAS) announces the release of its draft Sustainability Action Plan. The plan is now available to the public for review and commentary through August 31, 2021. City Council created the SAS in early 2019 to focus on climate change issues and their effects on Spokane and the region and update the 2009 Sustainability Action Plan.
For the past 2 years, more than 40 community volunteers, including local and regional experts, have worked under the guidance of Kara Odegard, Manager of Sustainability Initiatives for Spokane City Council, to produce this strategic plan. Tasked to research solutions the City and its residents can take to both mitigate our contribution to climate change and help make our community more resilient, SAS members formed eight workgroups to operate under Buildings & Energy, Transportation, Planning & Land Use, Waste & Recycling, Natural Resources, Equity, Climate Action Planning, and Communications. A recently formed workgroup will focus on a just transition for workers.
“Climate change is a global issue that needs local action, and cities are a necessary part of the solution,” says Odegard. “The Plan does address climate, but it really aims to make the community more resilient in the face of future challenges and economic downturns.”
The Plan sheds light on Spokane’s greatest sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and provides actions & strategies to mitigate them. In addition to reducing GHGs, proposed actions and strategies are evaluated against four co-benefits: Improved Environment, Economic Opportunity, Health & Well Being and Increased Equity.
A top priority for the SAS is to engage communities disproportionately impacted by climate change in the final draft of the Plan. With grant funding from the National League of Cities, the SAS has established a task force to focus on environmental equity within the Spokane region. “Climate change will impact everyone in Spokane, but because some people will be hit harder than others,” says Alex Gibilisco, Manager of Equity and Inclusion, “the City must prioritize action and invest resources to address existing disparities to ensure all residents can adapt to a changing climate.”
Low-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color have paid the price for climate change more than any other community. The SAS acknowledges this fact and has incorporated an equity framework throughout the Plan’s proposed actions and strategies.
The public review period is a critical piece of the Plan’s development. Public feedback is necessary to finalize revisions to the Plan and provide City Council Members guidance on prioritizing action within the city.
There are several ways to participate and provide input on the plan.